On our second day in Rome we decided that we would consult the Rick Steve’s guide book I brought from the US and figure out how to get around this city! This was a great idea and Rick became a welcome traveling companion… I would highly recommend his travel books for any city you’re visiting. He even has an app that you can use to download free audio tours of cities and museums. His website is www.ricksteves.com!
We started our morning with fresh fruit from the farmers market that sets up every morning in Campo Di Fiori. Complete with pineapple, coconut, cantaloupe, strawberries, cherries, apples, and TOMATOES! It was strangely refreshing and delicious.
Fortunately Rick Steve had a walking tour in his book that started at Campo Di Fiori, included Roman palaces, ancient Egyptian obelisks, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, and ended at the Spanish steps. Our search for the Pantheon was finally over thanks to Rick and we were so glad to have some sense of direction!
I threw a coin in the Trevi Fountain to ensure my return to Rome! You literally stumble upon the fountain in any direction you’re approaching because there is no motor traffic allowed in the area. This was easily the most crowded site in Rome. There were lots of Italian police officers blowing whistles telling people not to eat gelato near the fountain. We nicknamed them the ice cream police and it was fun to watch this process repeated over and over again!
The Spanish Steps were quite a ways out of the way and honestly they were really pointless. There were crowds of people sitting on them and street hustlers/ pickpocketers were out in full force! We had an Italian guy come up and hand us roses saying “Bella, Bella, Bella” and then he walked away… we were so excited to get free roses… then he came back asking for money. When in Rome watch out for hustlers.
The Pantheon was so amazing.
Each pillar is 40 feet tall and it is the first dome ever erected. The hole in the center of the dome is open to the outside and it’s said that when it rains water doesn’t come through the hole because of some sort of pressure that the dome creates.The Pantheon is also one of the oldest buildings in Rome. When you’re walking in the ground slopes to the entrance because Rome has been rebuilt time and time again on piles of rubble making the street level rise, but the Pantheon has been standing tall for thousands of years!
After we completed the walk we set off to tour the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palentine Hill. There is great TI (Tourist Information) shop next to the Colosseum so we went there to see what tours were offered. Rome offers a three day “Roma pass” that includes two free attractions, free public transportation, and discounts on all the other sites for 34 Euro. The TI was offering half price 2.5 hour tours of the area and after reading from a guide book all day we thought it would be nice to listen to an expert for a while. Our tour ended up being us and two guys from Sweden! For only 15 Euro we basically got a private tour of the Colosseum etc! It was all just as epic as I had imagined! Here are a few pictures to show ya’ll the size.
After the tour our Swedish friends wanted to go throw a coin in the Trevi fountain, so using our amazing navigation skills we led them backwards through our Rick tour. We found a great gelato shop called Crispino’s a few streets away from the Trevi Fountain and I had a meringue flavor that was strangely delicious! Crispino’s is down a side street and it was recommended by the NY Times. (They have a giant picture of the NY Times review hanging on their front door.) If you’re looking for great gelato DON’T go anywhere that is right next to a big tourist attraction. Take the time to walk a few blocks and down a side street and you’ll get gelato that is half the price and made fresh daily!
That night for dinner we had… you guessed it… PIZZA!!